Thursday, January 3, 2013

Montana Bighorn Sheep

Last weekend we took a trip to Yellowstone National Park. As we entered the park just south of Gardiner I told the boys to be on the lookout for Bighorn Sheep on the cliffs east of the highway. Crean soon spotted a ram high on top of the cliff and Benton spotted a few more on our way out of the park later that afternoon.


The following morning we found a ewe and her lamb from this spring feeding on some shrubs right along the highway. The best view we got though was on our way home just south of Gardiner along the north side of the highway. A small band of sheep were bedded down just off the highway and we got good looks at these animals.






One of the ewes had two radio collars on her neck. I am not sure why she was double collared or what study she was part of, but I will try to find out.


One of the rams took a particular interest in her.


2 comments:

MTWaggin said...

Lucky spots. I saw the girls in that spot this summer, first time ever in all my trips to the park (altho my "park expert" said something to the effect of "you ALWAYS see the sheep between Gardiner and Mammoth). Love your photos of them and I'll hope to see the rams at some point as well.

Jesse DeVoe said...

Very nice! I have been following your blog for some time now and was surprised to see one of our project's collared ewes! It is part of a research project by Montana State University studying various aspects of bighorn sheep ecology. There are two collars because one is a GPS to collect spatial data for two years, which will then fall off, then the second collar is simply a VHF transmitter that will remain on the animal for the remainder of its life, allowing us to track survival and reproduction. More information on the project can be found at:
www.gyamountainungulateproject.com